AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
While we’re going to talk about the United States House of Representatives a lot in the coming days, it’s worth remembering that they’re not the only ones making laws impacting guns.
Gun laws of various stripes are snaking their way through the legislative process in pretty much every state to some degree. Some of those are gun control, sure, but some are pro-gun legislation.
You know, stuff like the constitutional carry bill that’s now law in Oklahoma.
Just hours after final legislative approval was granted, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Wednesday that will allow Oklahoma residents to carry a firearm in public with no training or license.
House Bill 2597, the so-called Constitutional Carry bill, advanced out of the Senate on Wednesday afternoon by a 40-6 vote. With Stitt’s signature, the law takes effect Nov. 1.
During a signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon, Stitt said voters across the state have told him they’re concerned about gun rights. Stitt dismissed critics’ concerns about how the bill would affect public safety.
“I think the best defense for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.
The bill allows people age 21 and older — and military service members and veterans age 18 years and older — to carry guns either concealed or unconcealed with no permit or training. As under current law, felons and those adjudicated to be mentally ill will not be allowed to carry firearms.
It’s a brave new world in Oklahoma.
In a statement, Gun Owners of America offered its congratulations to the state.
Gun Owners of America (GOA) today celebrates Oklahoma for becoming the 16th permitless carry state.
“Kudos to Gov. Kevin Stitt for signing GOA-supported legislation that allows citizens to carry concealed without seeking prior permission from the government,” GOA Executive Director Erich Pratt said. “I thank all the GOA activists who spoke up in support of this bill.”
Gun Owners of America mobilized the grassroots in the state in favor of HB 2597 — and some of the GOA alerts are viewable here, here and here. GOA is also thankful to the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association for their valuable 2A support inside the state.
Oklahoma is the second state to enact Constitutional Carry this year. South Dakota joined the Constitutional Carry club in January, after Gov. Kristi Noem signed legislation that GOA had been actively pushing.
“The good news from Oklahoma and South Dakota only scratches the surface,” Pratt said. “Gun rights are advancing at a faster rate than gun restrictions are in this country — although the mainstream media usually chooses to ignore positive stories like this one.”
Oklahoma now joins the other 15 Constitutional Carry states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming — and most of Arkansas and Montana. By comparison, there was only one permitless carry state in 2000 — that being Vermont.
Honestly, this is a big win not just for Oklahoma but for every state even remotely considering constitutional carry.
Every state that passes the law becomes another data point that disproves the anti-gun narrative on permitless carry. When Oklahoma doesn’t suddenly devolve into the Wild West, and the streets don’t start running red with blood, it shows that the anti-gun narrative is nothing more than fear-mongering masquerading as concern.
Congrats, Oklahoma. I only hope more states will soon join you.